Sunday, March 15, 2015

A cold wintery Sunday with thoughts of the Shakers and life that has passed me by!

Brooklyn Street this winter
The lesson I have learned this winter is that without money…you are stuck wasting your life...yes really.  I watched via social media people who could go skiing, go to a vacation spot, go to the Syracuse basketball games, attend runs and walks, go to fund raisers. go shopping to malls, go out to eat or go to concerts...what if you have  no family that is close, and no money…?

If you are struggling to stay warm, to eat, to keep things together, to pay ridiculous energy bills… is this called living?

I had someone say to me well you can watch TV or go to the Library and get books!  With no TV because of the cost of it and no local service, with no car or bus service to get to a library…what do you suggest then?

The fact is everything costs so much money today that staying alive could take all of your funds and more. 

So in reading research I am doing on the Shakers for next year’s lectures, I was struck by what actually was their demise.  Many would think it was celibacy…but no, it was modern times and money.  

Success and wealth allowed them to become part of the “World’s People”.  They no longer were happy with the simple life of growing, working, keeping busy, praying and living separate from the world, no they now saw the need for expansion and progress…the cost…cost them everything.

They could no longer make everything to sell and had to hire workers who never provided the quality of “Hands to work, Hearts to God”.  As people left for the world they had to hire people to grow food or to buy it. Dissention reined as some want this, some that, none were really happy just staying put away from the world and all of the things they originally thought were repugnant to God.  Even fellowship was lost in squabbles over money and investments...yes they had tons of money to invest at times.  As they saw more of the worldly goods they wanted more. As the number of Believers left they could no longer keep the communities clean and neat and working. The rules they lived by changed and then changed gain...they no longer went out to seek new members.

Sad actually… a way of life that brought people together who had fashioned a society that cared about one another, that was self-sufficient for the most part…fell to ruin.  The Shakers were the longest running (one group of which is still functioning at Sabbath Lake in Maine) communistic society in America.  Millerites, Oneida Community Perfectionists, and so many others are all gone because of religious beliefs…but Shakers kept their vision of God both mother & father and failed because of money!  Believers wanted to be part of what the "world" could offer! Modernization..

I guess that is us today…we all want what the world can offer us…but for some the world has passed them by and unfortunately, they cannot be self sufficient in today’s society without the money to make them that way!

I wrote poem when I was very young, when my mother died I found that she had kept it.  It was on life passing me by…and this winter it has…

Life Just Passed Me By
I felt the wind like the touch of Spring, /Gently passing in the glow of day./
I saw a scene so far from me,
/Yet passing just a foot away.
/I heard God as I walked the hill.
/I stopped to listen and to pray, /And time just passed on by.
May heart smiled, enjoyed, and cared,
/As my lungs filled with the sweet Spring air;/ And the breeze against my face wasnt even there,/ As life just passed on by.
They laughed at me for I beamed with love, /For the grass that felt like silken glove, 
/It gave me pleasure and just a bit of love, /And time just passed me by.
/I heard the call of the meadows lark,/
I felt the tree and its rugged bark,
/But time had passed me by.
For now Im grown and now Ive lost /The simple heart that would have bought,/ With a fortune or a ransom found,/
But not even that could stop.../Time from passing me on by.
Here is a video I did on the Shaker Settlement near Albany..their original settlement...

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